Face Masks in Japan: Rules v. Reality
Travel Caffeine - Travel Tips & Photography by Tom Bricker
by Tom Bricker
2M ago
We just returned from about one month in Japan during fall colors season, with time in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Kanazawa, and elsewhere. From that, we have a lot to share. Let’s start with a common topic: mask rules and expectations, as well as other health safety measures. Japan’s masking culture has been well-documented elsewhere, and we aren’t pretending to be ‘pioneers’ on this frontier. However, much has not been discussed in the context of travel this year and in 2023. Additionally, we were surprised and frustrated on a number of occasions by other health protocol–or the lack thereof ..read more
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Japan Reopening to Individual Tourists: Rules & FAQ
Travel Caffeine - Travel Tips & Photography by Tom Bricker
by Tom Bricker
4M ago
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that Japan will continue to reopen its border to foreign travelers. Starting on October 11, 2022, Japan will resume visa-free travel and accepting individual tourists. Japan will also lift the cap on daily arrivals, which is currently set at 50,000 per day. Kishida’s announcement was brief, and did not include any other details about changes to pre-arrival testing or any other requirements that might be instituted for inbound individual tourists. Unsurprisingly, this resulted in questions and confusion, with many inquiries we couldn’t answ ..read more
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Japan Reopening to Individual Tourists!
Travel Caffeine - Travel Tips & Photography by Tom Bricker
by Tom Bricker
4M ago
For nearly two years, we’ve been chronicling every update to Japan’s border closure in When Will Japan Reopen for Individual Tourists? We have great news: Japan will finally reopen to individual travel in October 2022! During a press conference in New York after his appearance at the U.N. (and before a speech at the New York Stock Exchange), Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that Japan will continue to ease its border controls. Starting on October 11, 2022, Japan will resume visa-free travel and accepting individual tourists. Japan will also lift the ca ..read more
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Unguided Tours to Japan – Reopening Phase Rules
Travel Caffeine - Travel Tips & Photography by Tom Bricker
by Tom Bricker
5M ago
Japan will further relaxation of border restrictions, including opening to “unguided tour groups” or “non-escorted visitors on package tours.” In this post, we’ll discuss the details of the latest reopening step, what those terms (might) mean, and more. In this latest step towards fully reopening, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that Japan will allow the entry of self-guided tour groups and raise the daily arrival cap to 50,000 starting September 7, 2022. On that same date, Japan will also no longer require incoming travelers to show a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test, pro ..read more
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101 Best Things to Do in Laguna Beach, California
Travel Caffeine - Travel Tips & Photography by Tom Bricker
by Tom Bricker
6M ago
If you’re visiting Southern California and looking for the best activities, seasonal events, restaurants, and other ocean or art-related activities, this list of 101 things to do in Laguna Beach has you covered. In addition, there are some tips & tricks to help improve your vacation along with what to avoid so you don’t fall into typical tourist pitfalls. Nothing informs the present like the past, and knowing Laguna Beach’s history is integral to understanding what makes it special today. With that in mind, Laguna Beach has roots as an artist colony. In the late 1800s and early ..read more
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Rules for Monitored Tour Groups in Japan
Travel Caffeine - Travel Tips & Photography by Tom Bricker
by Tom Bricker
8M ago
Japan’s tourism ministry has released guidelines for tourists and travel agencies that will run monitored tours as part of the country’s very limited resumption of group tourism. This post will cover the preposterous proposals, and offer commentary about what’s motivating these rules. First, basic background about the monitored tours that’ll begin on June 10, 2022 can be found in Japan Reopening for Guided Tours. That details the trial tours that have been underway up until now, as well as the road ahead for this plan. In a nutshell, Japan is going to allow tourists to enter the country ..read more
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Japan Reopening for Guided Tours
Travel Caffeine - Travel Tips & Photography by Tom Bricker
by Tom Bricker
9M ago
For over the past year, we’ve been chronicling every little update to Japan’s border closure in When Will Japan Reopen for Travel? Well, that’ll happen in June 2022…but with the colossal asterisk that Japan will only accept guided tour groups. It’s not quite time to retire that post, but this is technically a reopening to some degree. As such, we’re separating the news out here for the handful of you willing and somehow able to take a guided tour of Japan on three weeks’ notice. At a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday, May 26, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that Japa ..read more
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1-Day Eze, France Itinerary
Travel Caffeine - Travel Tips & Photography by Tom Bricker
by Tom Bricker
1y ago
Our Èze, France 1-day plan offers a step-by-step itinerary for visiting this idyllic hilltop medieval village in the French Riviera. We cover how to have the perfect day trip to Eze, including what to do, where to eat, and getting there from Monaco or Nice via the train or bus. This charming Côte d’Azur commune is like a mix between stepping back in time and entering a fairytale village come to life. Like some other villages in Europe, Èze toes the line between time capsule and tourist trap. There’s a Disney-esque quality to the place, which is fitting since Lillian and Walt Disney famously s ..read more
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2021 Christmas Gift Guide for Travelers
Travel Caffeine - Travel Tips & Photography by Tom Bricker
by Tom Bricker
1y ago
Wondering what to get the travel enthusiast in your life, or what to add to your own Christmas list? Our holiday gift guide features the coolest travel gadgets, inspirational travel books, and other must-have travel accessories. From luggage to comfy “tourist pants,” we’ve got something for everyone here. On this list, we have a mix of practical yet fun travel gadgets (because no one wants to be the wet blanket that gets someone that gift they need, but don’t want), items that will inspire wanderlust, and several things we’ve used on our trips over the course of the last year that we thi ..read more
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10 Hidden Gem Kyoto Photography Spots
Travel Caffeine - Travel Tips & Photography by Tom Bricker
by Tom Bricker
1y ago
One of the dirty secrets of Kyoto photography is that the reality of what you’ll end up shooting is rarely the serene, uncrowded temples and peaceful landscapes you see in marketing photos. To the contrary, most images of Fushimi Inari, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kiyomizudera, Yasaka, and other locations are taken incredibly early in the morning or really late at night to avoid crowds. I can’t count the number of mornings I’ve gotten up at 5 or 6 a.m. or stayed out until midnight to capture tranquil scenery. When I visit these same places midday, I often don’t even pick up my camera. While it i ..read more
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